Create some rituals and practices that you commit to. I learned to meditate using Transcendental Meditation and then was introduced to a couple of people who were kind of spiritual coaches for me. This was invaluable. I now never miss a day meditating. I also recently bought a puppy, so this gave me a new daily routine of walking in the neighborhood and on the beach. These routines are vital for a feeling of routine and stability.
Many successful people reinvented themselves in a later period in their life. Jeff Bezos worked in Wall Street before he reinvented himself and started Amazon. Sara Blakely sold office supplies before she started Spanx. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was a WWE wrestler before he became a successful actor and filmmaker. Arnold Schwarzenegger went from a bodybuilder, to an actor to a Governor. McDonald’s founder Ray Croc was a milkshake-device salesman before starting the McDonalds franchise in his 50’s.
How does one reinvent themselves? What hurdles have to be overcome to take life in a new direction? How do you overcome those challenges? How do you ignore the naysayers? How do you push through the paralyzing fear?
In this series called “Second Chapters; How I Reinvented Myself In The Second Chapter Of My Life “ we are interviewing successful people who reinvented themselves in a second chapter in life, to share their story and help empower others.
As a part of this interview series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Becky Robbins.
While Becky Robbins can be recalled from her marriage to motivational speaker Tony Robbins, she has since spread her wings and influence in the world of her own unique and powerful artistic expression. In the last several years, after exploring the world’s cultures and music, as well as a deep dive into theatre and the majesty of the environment, her curiosity for learning developed her focus on the creation of art in various mediums and genres.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we start, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?
I was born in Denver, Colorado, and am the eldest of two children. I was always required to be the good girl, all A’s, gold star on my accordion lessons, good manners, and lots of quips about worrying what others think about you. Interestingly, I see people these days bemoaning that in therapy, but truly, it set the stage for me. I am still the good girl! Conscientious and considerate, I strive for excellence and set a high standard for myself. My parents divorced while I was in early adolescence and my mom left the family to live in Mexico City for a few years and in the wake of that turmoil, I basically raised myself and my little brother, and supported my dad who was heartbroken. While others enjoyed their teen years, I needed to take charge of my life early on and figure things out, which ultimately molded my career later on.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“So tell me, what do you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” -Mary Oliver. At one of those important milestone birthdays which was exactly when the “first act” of my life ended, it was poignant to me to address within myself that while I see life as a privilege, I wanted to truly and freely explore and experience as much as I could and gain more wisdom from that.
You have been blessed with much success. In your opinion, what are the top three qualities that you possess that have helped you accomplish so much? If you can, please share a story or example for each.
- I am responsible for myself and trustworthy unto myself.
- I’m curious and love both the big picture and the details.
- I’m a good leader and set the stage by building qualities in myself first that I expect in others.
Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion about ‘Second Chapters’. Can you tell our readers about your career experience before your Second Chapter?
When I met the man, who one year later would become my husband, he had done only one workshop so we started from zero. While he was the guy on stage, I was responsible for all the rest and we both were learning as we went. It was an arduous life trying to build a brand and a customer base and traveling constantly to do a three-day event for 100 people. The things I learned that saved me were to be resourceful to the extreme, to anticipate all potential needs/issues, and to plan the future to the minute knowing the outcome that was desired. Also, my intuition about people served me well as the organization grew.
And how did you “reinvent yourself” in your Second Chapter?
For years I had done lists of goals and dreams and each year, I would see those in an old journal. Because of the circumstances, I was working and living the lifestyle of every minute dedicated to the company and its mission. Realizing that I now had so much freedom was daunting at first. Knowing that “someday” could be never unless I created a plan to see and learn and expand myself in every way that I felt necessary for a fulfilled life. I traveled to Africa, began scuba diving again, and went to Indonesia on dive trips. I made new friends in other contexts of life, I pursued my health and fitness with experts, I took my family on trips, and more. It was an entire life make-over!
Can you tell us about the specific trigger that made you decide that you were going to “take the plunge” and make your huge transition?
The specific trigger for me was divorcing my husband as it took courage to finally say those words after staying too long and ultimately helped me make my transition.
What did you do to discover that you had a new skillset inside of you that you haven’t been maximizing? How did you find that and how did you ultimately overcome the barriers to help manifest those powers?
I had to realize that while having been the equivalent of the Executive Producer of someone else’s life, it was time to do that for myself. By nature, I’m a “giver.” What I’ve learned though is the equal necessity to receive and create a team for myself and by myself.
A former attorney had retired and we had become friends. She told me she had begun art lessons, Spanish lessons, piano lessons, and gardening. So I jumped in and did exactly those things and the one that has stuck with me is art. I had never done any type of art before and what enthralled me was the concept of creating something out of nothing.
The barriers I needed to overcome were obviously the emotional instability from the divorce, but dipping my toe in the water of new areas of life like music and languages and art were all challenging because each requires a level of commitment and consistency in order to be competent, which is where the satisfaction comes in. And that can take years. What I needed to do (and did do) was to create a new story for myself and become the steward of my own life experience and happiness.
How are things going with this new initiative? We would love to hear some specific examples or stories.
I have reached the level of competency which gives me great confidence in my skills and that’s a profound gift I have given to myself. While I didn’t begin to paint in order to create an audience of collectors, and I’m grateful for that, I have entered that arena and my work has been in several solo and juried shows and won awards. At one solo show, I was asked to present an Artist Talk which was rewarding on many levels. I am selling prints of my works to collectors and have a PR agent as well as galleries that are approaching me for representation.
Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Susanne Stanford, my former attorney who retired. She invited me to go to Rancho La Puerta in Tecate, Mexico, for a week of wellness, hiking and fun. The sunrise walks we took and the wisdom and laughter we shared were kindling for a new experience of life that was focused on my own personal future as she was indeed creating her own.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started in this new direction?
The greatest thing that has happened and has transformed the way I feel about my work is that when I see a photo, an illustration, or anything anywhere that I would love to paint into my work, I must find the author, secure permission and give them credit when the painting is done. It has been a beautiful part of what I do and I now have relationships with people all over the world who are well-known for their work.
Did you ever struggle with believing in yourself? If so, how did you overcome that limiting belief about yourself? Can you share a story or example?
To refer to myself as an artist took time to feel authentic because I didn’t perceive it as a legitimate profession compared to the high stress 24/7 career I had come from. What that took was time in the saddle, so to speak, as well as entering juried competitions again and again with no acceptance of a piece of my work. But since I wasn’t trying to “eat” by selling my work and truly love doing the process of it, I knew it was only my ego getting in the way, so letting go of that pressure actually opened the door for people to come me.
In my own work I usually encourage my clients to ask for support before they embark on something new. How did you create your support system before you moved to your new chapter?
I started some art classes at the Athenaeum in La Jolla, California, where I lived and a couple of the instructors, Ken and Stephanie Goldman, taught portrait and figure painting. That was such a leap of faith for me to sign up and yet they were there from the beginning to encourage me and kept saying, “That’s a good start.” Then I was on my own to continue to play in different mediums and I painted in my garage with a friend every Sunday.
Starting a new chapter usually means getting out of your comfort zone, how did you do that? Can you share a story or example of that?
I was way out of my comfort zone when I took the leap out of my marriage and it was an extremely hard time, so to find something to do that involved my mind and heart was lifesaving for me at the time. Now I’m eternally grateful that I have my art, especially now that I’ve invested many years in the process of learning and discovering, which both demand consistency. It’s now my favorite thing to do with my time.
Fantastic. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started leading my organization” and why? Please share a story or example for each.
- Find your footing on a spiritual path that speaks to your heart. While moving into my new home, I unpacked a box that had a cassette tape I hadn’t known was in there and it was from a workshop by Abraham-Hicks. I stopped and grabbed some paper and took notes and it made a vast difference for me. I realized I have way more control of my life than I thought I did, and that I am a point of attraction based on how I’m feeling and what I am contributing based on that. It was jet propulsion for me.
- Take inventory of your friends and choose those who you admire and who can assist you in new ways of thinking and being. At first, there were a few people from the past who were not good for me because my past was done! And I knew it was for me to realize that in order for my life to change, I needed to have a new outlook and a new community. I started going to museums and the theater, and I took art classes at La Jolla Playhouse where I met like-minded individuals.
- Be brutally but compassionately truthful with yourself and with loved ones. I had an honest reckoning with myself about my 3 adult kids and the time I had not been there for them while working continuously for 14 years. I think being honest about this with them and myself has been essential in me no longer carrying regret over it, and thankfully I have my priorities set straight now.
- Know where you stand when it comes to health and fitness, relationships, financial wellbeing, etc. I recently hired my first ever physical trainer and while she was brutal with me, she has completely saved me and I’m stronger and healthier than I have ever been. I also hired a business and financial manager who had me pay attention to what mattered about my situation so that I could afford to live to the age 100 responsibly. It was hard for me to submit to being told what to do and that I needed to live within my means.
- Create some rituals and practices that you commit to. I learned to meditate using Transcendental Meditation and then was introduced to a couple of people who were kind of spiritual coaches for me. This was invaluable. I now never miss a day meditating. I also recently bought a puppy, so this gave me a new daily routine of walking in the neighborhood and on the beach. These routines are vital for a feeling of routine and stability.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
Indigenous cultures around the world have a deep knowledge of the earth and translate this knowledge into arts and crafts. I want to learn from all of this and have it be some kind of presentation/series where we give and receive from one another. I’ve always said that peace on Earth requires travel to understand others.
We are very blessed that some very prominent names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them. 🙂
Elon Musk. He thinks so far ahead and that nothing is impossible! That inspires me tremendously!
How can our readers further follow your work online?
They can visit www.Beckyrobbins.com or follow me on Instagram, @EverythingBecky.
Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!